The Shiawassee Central Dispatch Board plans to seek support with funding during a special election in May, said Shiawassee County 911 Director Pam Battinkoff. “Support with funding is necessary to sustain local 911 Emergency Operations and for the implementation of the required multiple phase transition to Next Generation (NG911) technology.
“The Shiawassee 911 Emergency Center is a standalone entity that is funded solely through the fees for 911 services that are on all devices capable of contacting 911. Since 2010, funding for Emergency 911 Services has decreased at an average rate of 3 percent annually while operating cost has increased.
“The current monthly rate is $1.22. The surcharge decreased to that amount in 2008. The previous voter approved surcharge was $2.50. The 911 Board is currently discussing the amount required to sustain 911 operations, transition Central Dispatch to the NG911 technology as well as meet continued needs and rising cost of operations. (The amount to be sought from voters on May 3 has not yet been set by the 911 Board.)
“Shiawassee Central Dispatch needs to hold an election on May 3, 2016 in order for new funding to begin by July 1, 2016. Per the State of Michigan, the statutory deadline for the funding change date of July 1, 2016 is the first Tuesday in May 2016. If a funding request is not approved by that date the next funding change date is not possible until July 2017.
“Technology is continuously evolving and creating new ways for citizens to contact 911 when they have an emergency. The ‘New and Evolving Technology (NET) 911 Improvement Act of 2008’ calls for 911 Centers to have the ability to receive and respond to all citizen activated communications and to improve information sharing among responders. In response to State and Federal requirements the companies providing 911 emergency services have upgraded their systems. The legacy 911 system at Shiawassee Central Dispatch is reaching the end of its life and will not be supported by NG911 technology.
“The current funding for Shiawassee Central Dispatch is not sufficient to maintain existing 911 operations and will not allow for the implementation and maintenance of the NG911 system that is required to continue to provide 911 Emergency Services to our community.”